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juss100
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 9:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Booming "To SMG acting. I thought she was ok in the Walking Dead but not great. A lot of people liked Seven of Nine not noticing that she is/was a bad actress. In psychology that is called beauty bias. The same principle applies to Jadzia Dax who was a model before she basically started her (short) acting career with Star Trek. The more modern iterations of Star Trek always put some eye candy in there for obvious reasons. SMG is beautiful but the beauty bias doesn't seem to have an effect here. Maybe the problem is that unlike Seven of Nine or Jadzia Dax she is playing lead. Personally I'm also not a big fan of her acting so far even though it improved during the season. Could be the role but it could also be her limited acting range. "

I've not seen Voyager but I don't recall anyone ever accusing Terry Farrell of being a particularly decent actor (or Marina Sirtis in TNG for that matter. Or Gates Mcfadden for that matter.) I don't personally find her as terrible as SMG in DISCO because, as you say, she's not carrying the weight of the show on her shoulders and when she did have to, she at least had half-decent scripts to work with, which heightened the show, if not her acting performance.

I don't think that there's anything hypocritical - in dismissing SMG's performances which are, frankly, terrible from whatever angle you view them - she utterly fails to make a connection with either the audience or her fellow cast members. (I didn't think Michelle Yeoh was much cop in the opening episodes, either and I'm a fan of her HK movies. Professional Hong Kong actors do tend to struggle in English, not sure if that's the difference in the language emphasis, or the style of acting.) However, some of the other actors do come across as warmer or more engaging or marginally interesting so I think she should take the credit for her own failure, even whilst it's unfair and rather stupid of the writers to keep putting the success or failure of the show on her head and for them telling us that we *love* this character and she's wonderful and a hero before having proven as such. I initially cut her some slack for being a vulcan and not prone to emotion, but when one thinks how much character Leonard Nimoy got from his part, there's no comparison. Even Zachary Quinto looks like a genius alongside of her.
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juss100
Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 9:27am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I was never invested enough in this show intellectually enough to comment on it but I’ve been reading people’s comments and thoughts since the first episodes with a lot of interest. What I am invested in, however, is freedom of speech and opinion, and I’ve noticed a worrying trend from people that somewhat mirrors the experiences I had talking about TV on internet forums around ten years ago and that’s subtle, nuanced attempts to silence people who don’t like it, but wish to discuss their disapproval or disappointment. I don’t think that this is generally done maliciously but nevertheless it’s deeply problematic. It’s happened with The Last Jedi too.

People have their own approaches to how they all watch and enjoy TV and whilst I’m sure you could generalize into types, I think it’s fair to say that we all bring something unique to our own viewing experiences both intellectually and emotionally. Some fall down more on the intellectual side and want to analyze everything to death, whether that’s ideology, script, direction or inconsistencies in the material (or a combination) others fall down much more on the emotional other side and get really caught up in the characters and the plot twists and the howzat moments and so on and these people, when they love something want to share with others how much they bloody loved it.

I’ve noticed, however, that those people who tend towards emotive responses are often seeking some kind of affirmation bias. When they read reviews of things they say “great review” of they agree with it and tend towards anger when they don’t, and that anger gets more pronounced if the review or comment affirmatively undercuts their core emotional values. It makes sense, if you watch a show and loved it because you related to a certain character or situation, or if the plot twists really hooked you then it hurts your pride when someone says it was bad, whether they give reasons for it or not. So they tend to say stuff like “if you don’t enjoy the show just don’t talk about it” “let the people who like the show enjoy themselves” and then it gets even worse when it comes to “you’re deliberately watching it just to hate on it” and it almost becomes this paranoia that people are watching a TV show with the sole enjoyment of ruining their fun, which is an argument that becomes more ridiculous the more you consider it – we all know that internet trolls exist, a sad lonely section of the population who create arguments to stir up flamewars, but when a good 30-40% of people in the discussion are coming out with similar negative comments then it’s probably not the work of a trolling mentality. You have to start thinking that there’s something about the show (or movie, if it’s Star Wars!) that just isn’t resonating with people – and to my mind, that’s part of the point of discussion.

I think it’s fundamentally important not to shut down discussions because someone says “I like this, you don’t and you’re just trying to sh*t on my good time” because all art is a political act and should be discussed as such. The question of whether Discovery is “Star Trek” for instance is a salient one because the concept of what “Star Trek” is is political in so many ways. Does it represent utopianism, does it represent thinking about the Prime Directive, or just thinking about situations, or just telling complex and interesting stories. Or is it just a show set in space that reinvents itself. I have my opinions about this and I wouldn’t expect to be shut down in a conversation if I said Discovery is fundamentally not a Star Trek show because to my mind Star Trek *is* about discussing the political and social ramifications of setting up a powerful federation that explores the universe and ultimately meets alien species. How do we deal with that contact and what situations does it cause. To my mind Discovery is not interested in examining those kinds of questions, it’s interested in Star Trek in a canonical way, it wants to be a “new” Star Trek” like Abrams Trek did and I think that in itself is a very political act, because it’s essentially erasing the old notions of what Star Trek meant and it’s essentially saying “we’re not gonna talk about those questions or situations anymore, we’re going to replace your idea of Star trek with generic action plot-twist style TV”. Producers sell this as a “daring new vision” for the franchise but it’s actually not, it’s a way of fitting the franchise in with a Hollywood that has been selling similar ideas to this show since the 80s (In fact, Wrath of Khan or voyage Home themselves nearly slipped Star Trek backwards themselves, though thankfully WoK retains some intelligence and interesting themes. Not so much, Voyage Home..) it’s less about whether other Trek shows have had a bad season or not – imo Season 1 of DS9 is utterly dull, though I quite liked TNG season 1 – it’s more about asking what the fundamental approach of the show is. It’s not so much about “am I a whinging aging trekker who isn’t getting what he wants” it’s more about asking why this show is made, who is the audience and is it any good. (NB people on both sides predicate every argument with “I’ve watched Trek for years and I think it’s good, or bad, so there!”) I don’t think it’s a good show and I stopped watching at the break. I don’t expect to have my opinion silenced, however, by people who want to enjoy a Discovery group hug because I’ve watched a x amount of a show that I have thoughts on and an opinion about. No, if you love the show you may not always enjoy reading the opposing viewpoint, but isn’t that life? Wouldn’t you rather live in a world that allows for healthy debate and analysis of the art we consume? (Ok, I’ve already argued that some people wouldn’t. Oops!)
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